“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, January 21, 2024

An Extract from Hell

 Intimate distance can never be spoken as well as this: I have a dream. Right here and now, one can sense the affective power, the surging sonority, the outrageous poetry, of I have a dream. This is the fullness of I am alive

If we can find magic in the default, mundane sense of “dream,” how much easier will it be to understand the visionary sense in which Martin Luther King says I have a dream?

Dreaming is what brains do by default, in sleep. Sleep is the ground state of being alive, just as being alive is the ground state of dancing, just as dancing is the ground state of drama… 

King declares: "I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." Ultimately, that vision is about how simply alive beings can just be, without being targets or weapons; without being arrows. 

To be able to sleep in public, literally, without being punished in deed and thought and word; just to be alive, in the most relaxed and vulnerable sense; just to be rippling, palpitating, dreaming. Arrows of desire don’t point at all. 

Hell: Towards a Christian Ecology

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Jesus He Knows Them

 The post Gabriel redo of the Carpet Crawlers vibe is also stunning. 

People like me must talk to white evangelicals about Jesus. Now. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

I Talk about Genesis in Hell (that Genesis, as well as that one)

 Give this version a chance. I know, I know, it doesn't have Hackett. But it has...magic. I hadn't seen the video until just a few minutes ago. I wrote about this song in Hell, and it's uncanny how the video is exactly what I wrote. There are some crazy amazing things about the Hipgnosis image too, on the sleeve, which I also discuss. It's as if the sleeve, as well as the song, is embodying some of the deepest ideas in the book. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

I'm Loving Sharing These New New Classes with You

 Head over to Soundcloud. 

I'm Proofreading Hell

 ...with three others. It arrived at lunchtime on Friday. Since then I've read about three hundred pages' worth of Blake quotations...they're the most pressing task, because over time a few errors crept in. It's easy to do with Blake, whose punctuation is notoriously fiddly...I think at least sometimes deliberately so: there's a feel of fake-logical punctuation in his brilliant parody of Descartes, "The Fly," for instance. 

It's a beautiful book. Beautiful, I tell you! The most beautiful book I've ever made, no really it is. It's much fatter than normal, although quite a lot shorter than normal--the print is gorgeous and generous with big wide margins. It's full color, on every page. The illustrations...it's mindblowingly lovely. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

This DJ Set Interview Is Sublime

 Two years ago, I was in Paris promoting some of my books and I popped into Rinse France to do this interview with Edouard Isar, who span some of my favorite music. It was so incredibly good. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Eyes Get Wet in Dry January


Plus Plus Plus

 ...I'm finally uploading a LOT of my music too. 

Big Big News

 I'm uploading my classes, again! After over ten years of refraining from doing so, I'm going to be uploading a whole new course in literary criticism. Head over to Soundcloud. I'll link to the courses in the "Classes" part of this blog too. 

You'll want to check these out. I think my teaching got better, but that's for you to judge. And what I teach has shifted and changed and developed. For example, you'll be bearing my theory of drama that I'm now publishing with Columbia. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Leaf Blowers

 Three workers without masks using three gasoline-powered leaf blowers around the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, for an hour; this recording is a thirty-second segment. The Menil Collection is an art museum and they own several properties in the four or so blocks around them, on which they also use these sorts of leaf blower.

One hundred miles in a gasoline car or twenty minutes with a gasoline leaf blower: it's all the same to the atmosphere. And to the lungs, if you imagine sniffing the tailpipe for one hundred miles.

I recorded the sound from about fifty yards away.

You can smell the gasoline up to one hundred yards away.